Renaissance 3.0. Base camp for new alliances in art and science in the 21st century

Peter Whipple Farewell Gallery

03/25/2023 – 01/07/2024 | ZKM | Arts and Media Center Karlsruhe
Entry date: 03/24/2023

© Constanza Peña Pardo, Photo: Berti de Signal, Camille Montuilthe pictures

The ZKM | The Arts and Media Center Karlsruhe mourns the loss of Peter Whipple, who passed away on March 1, 2023 after a short and serious illness. Until recently he was working on his exhibition and research project “Renaissance 3.0”. The exhibition, which can be seen at ZKM from March 25, 2023, draws an arc from the Arab and Italian renaissance to the 21st century media art with reference to the third renaissance in art.

Art science was already the claim of the Renaissance, and yet it was lost again over the centuries. Today, in the digital 21st century, things are changing.
Increasingly, artists and scientists are working with the same tools, methods, and software. This common “toolkit” marks the beginning of a third renaissance. In his new and final exhibition, Peter Whipple, Technical and Scientific Director of ZKM| Karlsruhe, Arc from the Arab and Italian Renaissance to the Present Third Renaissance.

The exhibition establishes a base camp for new alliances between art and science in the 21st century and illustrates the emergence of a new tool culture. The central element of the exhibition space is an interactive knowledge area in which visitors can virtually navigate to and explain to them the terminology in the room. The field of technical knowledge is seen as an experiential human-machine collaboration, where human and machine learning come into play with each other practically.

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Peter Whipple, Curator and Technical and Scientific Director of ZKM| Karlsruhe since 1999, about the exhibition: »The alliance of technology and science as man’s answer to natural evolution is a central theme for me, because human survival depends on it. Art at its highest is not a pictorial technique, but an act of knowledge, both on the part of the artist and the viewer.

Media art is very important because it goes beyond the mimetic function of classical art. Media are interfaces that change the world and its perception. «

With 35 positions in international media art, Renaissance 3.0 provides insight into art lab positions and technical and scientific collaboration. The exhibition thus opens space for a new tool culture and interdisciplinary field of knowledge for the 21st century – from biochemistry to genetic engineering and information design to neurosciences and non-traditional computing.

Participating artists draw links to areas of historical knowledge and work on innovative research areas. South American artist Constanza Peña Pardo combines the logic of the modern system with the traditional techniques of the Inca culture in her sound installation “Kepo”. Her electrical tissue computer is a retrospective examination of a non-European binary mnemonic system capable of much more than simply recording information.

Austrian media artist Thomas Feuerstein debuts a cutting-edge metabolic system in his 7-part cabinet “METABOLICA Camp.” In the 21st century, contemporary carving is no longer authorized by marble-driven carvers’ chisels. Instead, the studio should be seen as a molecular factory in which sculptural bioplastics can be created using microorganisms and 3D printed—according to the biocybernetic thesis and technical proof.

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